David Axelrod on Obama campaign's ground game tactics
Obama senior strategist on 'Fox News Sunday'
- Duration 13:43
- Date Nov 4, 2012
Obama senior strategist on 'Fox News Sunday'
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And hello again this time from Fox News election headquarters in New York.
And we're back on standard time so we hope you set your clocks back one hour.
Well it's finally here the last 48 hours of this seemingly endless campaign.
Never both sides is now all about getting supporters out to vote.
We want to talk about ground game tactics with the scam starting -- David Axelrod senior strategist for the Obama campaign.
Who's in our Washington studio and David welcome back to Fox News on that thanks Chris good to be -- -- But before we didn't get to the campaign I want to ask you about Libya -- here is what the president promised and here's what he's actually done.
Every -- information that we get and as we got it.
We laid it up for the American people it.
And that was the president returning from a campaign trapped and not answering a question about Ben Ghazi David simple question did the president.
Make a calculated decision to run out the clock till the election and not answered questions about Libya now.
So why didn't he hasn't he answered a lot of questions about his.
Personal involvement and -- The president has from the beginning Chris and we've talked about this before of course.
The president has said we want to get to the bottom of it we want to share it with the American people we wanna get it right.
And there are a couple of distinguished Americans ambassador Pickering and admiral Mullen the former head of the joint chiefs of -- staff work.
Reviewing the whole matter.
To get to the bottom of it not just to.
Should not just to find out you know where things went wrong but how to fix it.
And so that you know our diplomats in the service people we send over seas are as safe as they can be now they are serving in dangerous places and you can't eliminate risk what you wanna do as much as you can.
And that's what the president's goal it is.
I understand all he is interagency issues that does take time but I'm gonna ask you a few straightforward questions about the president's personal involvement.
That don't take time and he could answer today -- one.
The US consulate in Ben Ghazi was attacked.
Twice before -- 8911.
In fact -- August.
And repeatedly security officials they are asked for more security said that they felt they were vulnerable.
And the situation was so dangerous that the British -- diplomats on the Red Cross pull out of bank Gaza.
Question did the president know about the -- Chris all I can tell you is the president is.
Fully committed to the safety of his diplomats he knew the ambassador -- He he was too deeply invested in in in his work there and obviously any steps that we -- needed to take we would have wanted to take.
So you know I mean I'm not in the White House I'm not privy to all the discussions but I can tell you this this president is.
Committed to the people who -- he sends overseas personally to represent this country.
He's the one who met those coffins when they came home so -- suggestion that he would not take the necessary steps.
To protect them.
Make some decision not to take the steps to protect them it is just nonsense.
-- David I I I understand you're not the White House anymore but on the other hand you did prepare the president and the vice president.
For their debates where Libya came up -- one of the debates the vice president said we weren't told.
About requests for -- more security I guess I'm asking again directly.
Did they know how dangerous a situation Ben Ghazi was before hand before the attack.
At and that's -- at that security officials in -- were asking for more help.
Ben Ghazi was dangerous there are many other places in the world that are dangerous work diplomats are where are.
Military serves -- intelligence.
For people serve and but the question -- vice president was asked was did he know about a specific request.
For additional security.
And that and the answer that was -- of those requests go we have 230 plus.
Facilities around the world those those those requests go to that security professionals.
In the State Department and that's what happened in this case.
Second area on the night of the attack the president met with -- top national security advisors and told them to deploy assets to the area.
Question why did he decide not to deploy wide -- not actually to send those assets and in the seven hours.
Between the first attack and the second attack and Ben -- that night.
When and and the like the second attack seven hours later two Americans were killed.
-- as has been reported and has the White House has said I think there was another piece on this in the paper this morning.
The president convened.
The top military officials.
And told them to do whatever was necessary and they.
Took the steps that they thought they they took every step they could tank but listen this is exactly.
What this review is about because the real question here is what what went wrong what could have been done better if we have to make adjustments in the future what adjustments should we make.
That is a solemn responsibility.
Of the president and everyone who serves with him and that's what's gonna happen.
Finally the president canceled campaigning for three day it's three days to deal with hurricanes sandy and he was -- for that.
Why did he decide to go campaigning in Las Vegas within hours after four Americans were killed and Ben -- and a terror attack.
-- as I said it immediately when word of the attack -- The president was a meeting with his top.
National security folks he was talking to them.
Well into the night he was in touch with them during the day as during the next day as well so there's no question about the fact that he was focused on this.
This is this is just because there's -- -- delegate -- campaigning within hours after a terror attack well.
Everything and everything was put in motion.
That he could put in motion.
Everything every conversation that needed to be had was being had between him and his top national security official.
Let's turn to the election here's the latest real clear politics map based on an average of recent polls has blurred up on the screen -- Should -- stayed solid or leaning Obama we put them all in blue.
-- 201 electoral -- state solid -- relating Romney and -- with 191.
And eleven tossup states and -- with a 146 -- Romney is in Pennsylvania today where the polls have them down more than four points.
But his campaign says there are electoral map -- expanding and that he's got a real shot there what say you have.
I say that they understand that they're in deep trouble they've David they've tried to expand the map because they know.
That in the states like Ohio.
Where they have to win no Republican has ever been elected without carrying the state of Ohio.
They're behind and they're not.
Catching up at this point and they're they're also going to be in Florida and Virginia two states.
That you would assume by now.
They would have secure at least they assume by now.
They would secure they understand.
That the the traditional or or that the battleground states in which we've been focusing.
Are not working out for them were even or ahead in all of them and now they're looking for somewhere desperately looking for somewhere to trying to dislodge some electoral votes.
To win this election and I can tell you that's not gonna happen.
You met your mustache on being president winning best slot the Pennsylvania how secure is your mustache as -- tonight.
I am the next time we see each other Chris I guarantee you that mustache will be right where it is today and where it's been for forty years by the -- that you know how serious -- bet that was.
Africa cup and the key now is his turnout and the Obama campaign has talked.
For years about how strong your your ground game as I want to look at Ohio and what the Romney camp says is happening.
-- early voting and absentee balloting let's put the numbers up on the screen is a little complicate -- But I I hope you can see the graphic they -- -- the Romney camp says that 557000.
Ohio Democrats have voted earlier got an absentee ballots so far that's not a 155000.
From four years ago.
Republicans have voted early or got an absentee ballot that's up.
From four years ago about just went -- 263000.
Votes in early balloting.
Which wipes out Obama's final victory margin of 262000.
In Ohio four years ago.
And what they're saying is that ES substantially more Republicans turn out to vote in Ohio on Election Day which is what they traditionally do.
They're gonna win Ohio when you're gonna -- Well I'll tell you what Chris we'll know in two days what the what what -- who is who is bluffing and who is not bluffing the fact is that if you look at every poll in Ohio we've been ahead.
Even or ahead and virtually everyone the latest came out this morning in the Columbus Dispatch.
One thing that's clear is that we have a very very -- of a large lead among voters who have.
Voted early we're gonna go into Election Day with a significant.
Oh lead and so you know -- they can spend it and and anyway they want what I'm looking that is cold hard data.
Who is actually showing up who's casting ballots and states like Ohio.
Iowa Nevada Florida we're doing very very well.
What they're doing is comparing this to 2008 and you and I've had this discussion I'm not suggesting that we're gonna win by the same margin we won.
And they're comparing themselves to John McCain who had virtually no.
Ground operation in many of these states so yes they're gonna do a little better than McCain did and we meant that we may not do as well as we did in 2008.
But we're doing planning well -- well enough to win this race.
Let me ask you briefly -- -- Florida where President Obama is down.
-- more than a point media in the polls and yet you're making your final advertising by the campaign mayor in Florida why not mistake.
You must -- well first of all we feel very competitive in the state of Florida -- been.
A spate of polls in fact in all of these polls battleground states polls have come out the last 48 hours we I think we're ahead in 90% of the men including floor and others -- a couple of -- Polls in Florida but we are very pleased with where we are.
In early voting there and we believe we're there to an -- on Election Day.
Where they with a large lead so we're very competitive in Florida and they know it because they're spending a lot of time there if they were comfortable in Florida they wouldn't be spending as much time and money as they're spending down there today.
But David when will we know who the next president is India and it's gonna come sooner than expected on Tuesday night or do you think this is something that is -- -- -- Wednesday morning.
Well I I.
I think that there are these some of these races are very close.
And so it could extend past midnight into the morning.
I don't think.
By this time of the morning we'll still be wondering who.
Who who the president is it's just a matter of tallying.
Tallying the votes and you know there are fewer exit polls this year so I think.
As some folks in your -- -- -- less bullish about making.
Early forecasts so.
You know where listen we've been fighting.
For a year and a half we've been working three year and a half of the states are organizations in -- -- been building for a year and a half.
We're willing to wait a couple more hours to find out what happens I.
Is there one.
State is there one.
How they are precinct that you're going to be looking out early in the evening that's gonna tell you whether it's going to be an had a good night or bad night.
Well obviously very you know we we we have rolling.
-- from about turnout that will tell us things during the day but when votes start getting kind of we will have sample precincts and there are some states that everyone knows.
Our very vital in this election.
A series of them but Ohio will be focused on some of those Ohio -- I really feel very good about Virginia and I think we're gonna win Virginia had a great rally in Virginia.
Last night going to be close that's one of the earlier reporting states we're going to be looking.
At those in and answer your earlier question of some of those start breaking.
Our way than it could be an earlier evening and than people anticipated.
And finally we got less than a minute left and -- I'm asking for a personal.
Answer not a political answer you have been what Barack Obama from the Illinois State Senate all the way.
To be all the law says these final two -- -- of his final campaign.
How emotional -- Very very Chris.
I mean this isn't just a a friendship a partnership but it's a friendship and you know I started getting interest in politics when I was five years old and John F.
Kennedy came to my little.
Community in New York city a Stuyvesant town there and I saw him I was hooked from that moment -- it was an idealism that drew me.
Barack Obama has given me my idealism.
Back and I've you know and I'm grateful to him forward and now all of us who have been within three years are gathering on this last trip.
And it's a very emotional time for us a proud time and emotional time but also one with great anticipation as we think -- going to be a great day.
David I want to thank you thank you as always for talking what does it may also want to know that our offer still stands in the short time that's left.
For President Obama come on Fox News for an interview at least once during this campaign well it's a generous offer and I appreciate you extend.
If Oprah didn't inhibit I didn't get it I didn't get a yes there I've learned a few things on your show Chris well.
I'm sorry about that -- that's.
David thank you -- good to be reviewed.